Success and transparency through cooperation?
Four questions for the fashion expert Armin Kämmerer
How can the demand for sustainable management and entrepreneurial success be aligned through the digitalisation of the supply chain? How important is cooperation with other market players? Read more about the topic of supply chain in our interview with fashion expert Armin Kämmerer.
Mr Kämmerer, in the first two parts of our interview series, we have looked at the topics of digitalisation and sustainability. How is the growing environmental awareness related to the digitalisation of the supply chain?
These topics cannot be separated from each other, they are connected. For quite some time now, a change in buying behaviour has been emerging, new habits are becoming the norm – e.g. online shopping. At the same time, sustainably produced products are increasingly finding their way into the shopping basket. Companies in the fashion industry, on the other hand, have been investing in the digitalisation of the process landscape for some time and are focusing on transparency in their supply chain.
So, the trend to more sustainability is not a one-way street, it comes from both sides?
Exactly. The rules for all market players have changed. The customers have become more sensitive and demanding, there’s a greater market for more eco-friendly products from certified ecological supply chains. In order to meet these customer expectations, companies will need a great deal of innovative capacity. Apart from tasks such as technology management and increase of effectiveness, it is also about keeping an eye on social and ecological key issues. Those companies that are able to respond to the dynamics will have the chance to stand out from the competition, and new opportunities will open up. It’s about developing new products and business models that are sustainable in the sense of a circular economy and profitable at the same time. This can only be achieved through a fully integrated industry solution. The digitalisation of the supply chain is therefore inevitable.
What does digital networking of the supply chain mean for the customers?
Customers are the key players in the supply chain – it all starts with the customer experience. If you ask yourself why it is necessary to make the supply chain digital and transparent, it becomes clear that it is all about customer satisfaction. The consumers look for high quality products and services, and they expect a good customer service not only before the purchase but also after the purchase. A disruption-resistant and ethically compliant supply chain can ensure this quality. Coordination between supply chain partners is the main priority in order to put the customers at the centre of their business model. A strong supply chain management makes it possible to control risks and create a resilient supply chain based on protecting customers’ interests. Continuous optimisation of the network, i.a. through automated information exchange, meets both the needs of the customer base and the business requirements of the companies. It is more important than ever to focus on communication and collaboration in key areas. Moreover, the availability of accurate real-time data shared with cooperation partners ensures smooth operations.
What is your conclusion?
The industry, but also the consumers, are in a state of flux, circumstances and habits are constantly changing. What is needed is more transparency, more flexibility, more sustainability. For the variety of topics and questions, there is not THE solution that a company can work out and implement on its own. Solutions for the future can only be found together – fashion companies, suppliers, customers, IT and politics.